Asbestos in Developing Countries

Today, representatives from 143 countries meet in Geneva to debate whether chrysotile asbestos, the kind mined mainly in Canada, should be added to an international treaty regulating the trade in hazardous chemicals.

Part One of The Current

Satire

It's Monday June 20th.

A US District Court Judge in New York has dismissed terrorism charges against former al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Ladin.

Currently, A visibly relieved Bin Ladin said he was happy that he can now get on with his life.

This is the Current.

Asbestos in Developing Countries

Asbestos is a mineral considered an employment savior in Quebec, a carcinogenic killer elsewhere and a dominant industrial substance in certain developing countries.

Part one of The Current began with a clip from Ken Takahashi, a professor of environmental epidemiology at the university of Occupational and Environmental Health in Kitakyushu City, Japan. Ken just published a study in the journal Respirology about asbestos-related deaths in Asia.

Today, representatives from 143 countries meet in Geneva and will discuss whether, chrysotile asbestos, the kind mined mainly in Canada, should be added to an international treaty regulating the trade in hazardous chemicals. Asbestos remains an important export for Quebec and Canada has been anxious to keep asbestos off the list.

iOur first guest was Kathleen Ruff, a Senior Human Rights Advisor to the Rideau Institute and a co-ordinator of the Rotterdam Alliance. She was in Smithers, British Columbia.

The Industry Minister, Christian Paradis, was not available to join us today. But he has long defended Canada's asbestos exports.In a statement, the Industry Ministry in Ottawa told us the Canadian government has promoted the safe and controlled use of chrysotile asbestos for more than thirty years.

People opposed to asbestos in the Philippines recently succeeded in getting their government to change course. The Manila government has agreed to endorse adding asbestos to the Rotterdam Convention's list of hazardous materials. But since the anti-asbestos campaign began nearly eight years ago, imports of the mineral to the Philippines have more than doubled.

Gerard Seno has been a leader in the campaign to ban asbestos in the Philippines and globally. He's vice president of the biggest confederation of labor federations in the Philippines, the Trade Union Congress.

Related Links:

Music Bridge

Artist: Doug Cox
Cd:
Slide to Freedom
Cut:
# 8, Meeting by the Liver
Label:
Northern Blues
Spine:
NBM  0039   

 

Other segments from today's show:

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